tv Inside Washington PBS December 4, 2009 8:30pm-8:52pm EST
weyeaeuser, growing ideas. >> i do not make thisecision lightly. >> my fear is that we cld easily getogged down in an endleswar. >> this week on "inside washgton," reaction to the president's afghanistan desion. >> it feel great knowi that we wilnot be out the by ourselves. >> i definely did not expected from him as ounew president. the unemploent rate drops fothe first time in two years, but it is still in double digits how do we get businesses to start ring again? >>he policies being propod by this administratn and the democrat allies in congress are causing employers to sit on theihands. >> and the continuing ga of the whiteouse gate crashers. >>ow couldhis coupl get past the secret service withou ving their names on the list
anget right up to the president? >> sir, i asked myself that question 1000 times. captiod by the national captioning initute --www.ncicap.org-- >> the president announced his new rategy for afghanian at west point this week, and as expected on capitol hill, his plan caught flak fm both sides of the aisle. >> t status q is not sustainable. as commander-in-chief, i have determined that in our vital naonal interest to send a additional 30,000 u.s troops to afanistan. afte18 months, ourroops will begin to come ho. >> datfor withdrawal sendthe wrong message to our friends a r enemies. >> in many ways, thi strategy is new strategy, and it is
as if are starting over. >> that is a difficult tale to tell to the erican people th ve been they're going on nine years, and here are still talkg about turning iaround. >> democraticongressman from massachusetts,arly suppoer of barack obama. let meegin by echoing a question from west point graduate andietnam veteran, drew bacevich -- "if afghanistan is essential to the safety of e united states, why not said 100,00rather than 3000?" >> good question. you t the feeling that there is a perfunctory quality to oba's address, thate is not hay with it, whatever he does is not gng to work, she tries to do a si-middle route here. there is sometng unsatisfactory about his respon, and what else -- and yet what else is he going to do?
most people would do whate did, which is n good, but wt else are you going to do? >> mark? >> the mysteryo mis the pocy of escalatn any evacuati at the same time. it ds seem a little bit from column a and a little bit from colu b. i do nothink it winstrong enthusiasm on ther side. i really look at it as trying to recycle the faed bush policy. accoing to separate testimony by both general jim jones, the national security viser, and then general david praeus, in public words, there are fewer than 100 al qaeda operatives in afghanistan today. those are the people who attaed this country it remains mystery. >> charles? i thinkt was a reasonable policy that decided to announ, but i thoug the speech was awful.
the policy ielf is problematic because all ous are skeptical aboutll to the success in this kindf war. but i trustespite my own skepticism, the judgment and honor ofenerals petraeus and chrystal, who think there is a chance o success knowi that it will cost american lives. th speech, however, was tru astonishing. as many have observed, notust me, but some on theeft and center, it was one of e most odd calls to battle er in american history -- and the fallen, conflicted, a -- ambivalent, conflicted, as mark indicate with a built-in exit strategy, and oks like a policy in which he ds not have his heart. that could ultimaty develop into our achill' heel, the commander-in-chiefho may not be ultimately commitd to the very mission h himself was announced. >> nina? >> i agr with much of at my
colleagues said. i do not think the speec rticularly work. but at this point, i think the message he was trying to nd abou the exit strategy was both to themerican people, thawe are not in forev, and to the afghan government. certaiy the taliban and al qaeda kn that if they can succeed, their only routeis to wake us out in some wa at is not ns to them. t if youan persuade the afghans that they real have to get with this progra because we will be gone, u will have de something. >> don't think thiss so much about afghanistan tually, its pakistan. i think height have gotten out cept thatis aides kept saying that if y get out, e messageo pakistan is "were out of here," and the pakistanis will ju say, , we will make our deal with t vil, and the isi will
strengthen the ties to that taliban but because he hedged it and sa that we are out in 18 months, the pakistani reaction was, gee, maybe ty are not serious. >> that ancipates the question i had. you ve problems with al qaeda in pakistan, pblems with t liban in pakistan. what the do about tt if you are in afghastan? >> what you are basically doing is going to the place in illinois whe al cone w ved to eliminate organized crim -- oe lived to elimina ganized crime. al qaeda has left the premises. admiral mi mullen says that one of the reasons the talan as recruits and ny in afghanistan is they p better wages. if t afghan army started paying betr wages, you would have a biddi war. let pakistan's message be very
clear -- if you want special treatment, that we are n going afterhem,ecause they ha been soft on goingfter al qaeda, giving safe enclaves to taliban,ust get yourself a nuclear weapon and you will be trted differently. >> no wonder iran wants nuclear weapon >> the psident'sessagen al qaeda is misleading. these toll the cogen guments against what would y ve -- it leadso all theode in arguments about why wou you have it infghanistan if there is aew al qaeda there? it is about radical islam. we cannot allow rical islam to succeed in that ea. it is nlear armed. it is unacptable to us than to any our allies. how do you d that?
people have miakenly thought about pakistan as a refuge r the bad guys afgnistan. it is thother way aund. think of afghanian as the place of refe and the -- refuge for radical iam in pakistan. if they are attacking as they are the northern teitories, you want the americs in afghistan holding the border and preventing escape and regrouping. that is at is happening here, a war one side of the border and the other. >> the pakistanis areaying a pretty steep price, with a daily bombgs. general petraeus, in an terview with npr, went through the leaderip of the taliban and al qaeda, by name,nd he said that they are in pakistan. >> let's talk se morebout afghanistan. >> it is noclear how an expanded military effort in
afghanistan dresses the problem of taliban and aqaeda safe havens across the bder in pakistan. >> the shortfall isot a shortage of americanombat troops. it is shorte of afghan troops. >> senators richa lugar and carl levin u want to see bipartisanship onhe hill? barrett is, a leading republican and democr both with the -- there is, a leading republican and mocrat both with concerns abt the policy. >> president oba has flowed richard nixon's great dictum, that a leader s to be challenging his ba at any moment to really be a leader. he was certain challenging his base. his candacy was launche on his anti-war position in 2002 against thiraq war, a position which i think has been vindicated and valated by the arguments made to vance that war -- weapons of mass
destruction, wave of democracy sweeping across the islamic world, and no connection to 9/. that is where his base and enthiasm came from, and right now, disilsionment, and certainly at the best, lack of enthiasm. >>hold that thought. leme play the nger version of the sound bite we pyed at the beginning of the brocast. >> i definitely did notxpect it from him as our new president. thats something i wouldave expected from bush. it has tak me byurprise and i don't agree th >> it. >> we allnow about the youthful oma brigades that turned o during the campaign. how disillusioneof these people going to be as nsequence of this? as i said, i thinkast week, heas a window here. if they don't start to be some real resultsn afghanistan in a year,hink they will be in terriblerouble, democrats will be inorrible trouble in the
2010 eleion. of course, the economy is prably even more important. buto he young men and women fighting and dying i gnificant numbers, and the amount of moy that ts is costing and going to cost, will takets toll further on his popularity. >> t other night on a charl gibson's "abc wor news" prram, george stephanopoulo d a graphic behind himand he showed harry truman's number is going down becau of the korean war, lyndon johnson'because of the vietnam war, and george bush's because of iraq. >> i love the historical analogies, particularly wit vietnam. but we spe more than $1 trillion and 5000 liv chang a few shadowy figes and the bills for one reason, nlear weapons. in these earlieroris -- obvisly, in the cold war, we
we worried about the soviet unio -- this is alabout new york and washington and n francisco going up in radioactive du because of jihadists getting nuclear weapons. it see likeuch distant, remote kind of ridiculous that. and yet the consequences are pret great >>. at is whyhis war ibout kistan, not about afghanian. ife abandon theegion, pakistan to lost, and the loss o pakistan to radical islam uld be catastrophic. but let me jt say aord about the politics of this. why are peoplsurprised? are we al suffering of and mia? for the last five years, the democrs have argued that afghanistan was the the good wa afghanistan w the central front in the war on terro -- remember that? that washe main argument of the jo kerry campaig, continued all rough the second bush term, d its mantra was
that we have tohift resources out of iraq,he wrong war, supposedly come into afghanistan, the right war. well, democrats are now i chae and the presint is doing exactly as demrats have argued, shifting our resrces, and all the sudd people are shocked that he is invving us in a war? >> be careful what you ked for. >> to theresident's credit, let ite noted that he has abandoned the idea of a global war on terrorism. at lst we scaled that back, one ofhe great reciting devices for jihadists ever conceive far as goingfter those people i think the unite ates military is nothe instrument to do it. >> build schools? >> well, if you are talking about a higy organized group
of law enforcement and counter terrorist group that is bile itself,ot making this commitmentf thousands of troops, relyi on good intelligence, i think that is the key. >> but the commandersaid you cannot get intelligenc -- the one thing that struck me talking to gener mcchrystal was -- was -- he was the g who ran counter to ever, the hunter to alert you talking about, and he can tohe conclusion that you cannot get the intellince on less to do t broader counterinsurgency sttegy. he makes an unwelcome but compelling argent. >> i have heard the other side as wel >> there i aajor iernal debate. a vice president j bid, secrary of state hillary clinton, jim jones, national security adviser, bob gates. talkbout that a little bit. >> theice president argued fo
minimalist strategy. it was the generals, mccystal and betray us, fresh fro iraq, -- mcchstal and petraeus, fresh from iraq, who argd for troops on the groun mcchstal may have one of the troops, but joe biden may have onwon theresident's mind. ving the withdwal in 18 mohs is a very strange, unusual ent. he is saying to his generals, "i willive you a year-and-a-half, show me we canin this, otherwise we are ait." >> wonder if its even a year and a half. , maand june, with the congressiol elections giving up, if they areot making measurable progress in the southern pronces in helmand, kaahar, if we don'tee real results on the gund, there will be a real amor to get
t. it would shock me if we start to pull thelug. >> o troops will on be in by the enaugust. >> but thelamor -- to clamor our you are talking to schedules. >> he has put a rush on this. the army is going t have problems. >> there i only one figure tt counts, and that is casualti. if a 500 americans are dyi, and in that war, you can forget public sport, public -- popular support and that war, mcchrystal, petraeus, forget it. >> the were high casualtiein iraq in the summer o2007. >> thiwas george bush's abandoned wathat barack obama wants to picup and finish. there was a popar surge for
the war of originallin iraq. there has never been t same as fars afghastanas concerned. if amecan casualtieto start to mountyou will watchhe president's numbers and the democratic suprt for this war, asells republican support, declined dramatilly. >> i wonder what will do in terms ofrones. the pakisnisn the one hand have protested in a token way. on the otherand, it has caused difficties. evan tls me that the cia is dog new things -- >> they are using guys with riflesnot just drones. it was receny reported that we went in and ot -- cia snipers got seven or eigh guys, i believe in paktan. th is really a difficult covert action tpull off. the capacity has increased so we can more of this. having sd that, i am always
eptic about this, because presiden are always tempted -- we don't have to send in a whol armies, which does get w smart guys ino get it done. it is tempting for a predent to go for the option, andt works sometimes, but often i es not. >> the ironys that the one timet worked is the initial war in afghanist, whe we said in a bunch of smart guys on horseback in the hundreds, not even in the thoands, and succeeded in bringindown the government tha had been in por for almost a decade. >> and for the hel they did noget it. >> withfghanistan, the probl this. ultimately hold and succeed in occupying -- it has defeated almost everybody >> we ar talking about an endls war with a very small army with fourr five tours.
at what point say enough? >> let's turno the job summit. >> companies are reporting profits of the sck market is up. t despi the progress we have made, many business are still skittishbout hiring. >> president obama, spear pelosi, and majority leader re have ner run a business, much less ner had a real job in the private sector. how they know what it takes to cree real jobs? >> house mirity leader john boehner was noinvited to this week's jo summit, along wh others, including the u. chamber ocommerce. the labor department reported on friday tha the unemployment rate has fallen for the first time since dember 2007 to 1, charles. >> obviously, the job mmit work. [laughter] in one day der what presidency would we have seen something like that? perhaps he really god. >> i mean, tell the people in